Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Being introverted...

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by simonpeter, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. simonpeter

    simonpeter Newbie

    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    ...is hard. It makes you appear weird to other people. It seems as if there is some invisible law in this world that one has to go out there and do something. I always stay in a corner, though...reading books, listening to classical, and so on.

    People usually make fun of me for this; they say I am a snob, or that I am abnormal, or whatever. Frankly, I don't see why people are so worried about what other people do. Why is it any of their business? Whether I am a snob or whatever, whether I am introverted or extroverted, why should other people judge me on that basis? It makes no sense at all.

    It annoys me terribly, and I waste so much time in hate and anger when that time could've been better spent on something else.
     
  2. seashale76

    seashale76 Unapologetic Iconodule

    Messages:
    10,177
    Likes Received:
    155
    Gender:
    Female
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    From one introvert to another: I completely sympathize. I have often lamented the fact that I wasn't born an extrovert, but I am the way that I am and I have always been this way. However, it is just when I learn to be at peace with it that someone lambasts me about it for not being extroverted enough. I have mostly moved on from caring what 'they' think though.
     
  3. simonpeter

    simonpeter Newbie

    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    Thanks, Seashale, for your thoughts. To me, it's not about caring what they think of me; it's a bigger problem than that. I'll give you an instance to make it clear. Recently, I was in a group and unfortunately, one of them happened to be someone I know. In front of ten people or so, she made sarcastic remarks about my never going out or meeting people, bla bla. It gets acutely embarrassing when you just stand there and listen to this, especially when ten strangers are giving you a quizzical look.

    The most frustrating thing, however, is that you can't even get out of such situations -- you can't yell at them, nor can you suddenly take off. You're trapped, and you have to just stand there like an idiot whilst others have a field day. It's disgusting, but not many people can relate to any of this, unless they're introverted themselves. That makes it even worse.
     
  4. seashale76

    seashale76 Unapologetic Iconodule

    Messages:
    10,177
    Likes Received:
    155
    Gender:
    Female
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Eastern-Orthodox
    I know what you mean. I had a situation over the summer with co-workers. We were doing these team building circle/group things where we had different activities each day. They kept building the activities up into these uncomfortable sharing with the group about personal topics stuff. I made a point to come late and/or be the person who they would 'forget' to call on. I dreaded going for the week we had that training. It was really bad one day when the group facilitator realized I neglected to share. I hate being put on the spot (even over ridiculously innocuous things) in front of a group of people, especially when they are just mostly acquaintances to me.

    ETA: This doesn't effect my ability to give great extemporaneous speeches in front of groups of people. Public speaking on a topic isn't the same as sharing personal information and being put on the spot, I've found. It's a really strange disconnect for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
    simonpeter likes this.
  5. Wackotic

    Wackotic Regular Member

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    4
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    It is tough. People are ignorant. I can empathize. I admit I have become more outgoing in recent years, but that doesn't come at once. I guess try and think of your good qualities that people seem to overlook. Bring them out.
     
    simonpeter likes this.
  6. ChildOfGod97

    ChildOfGod97 Regular Member

    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Protestant
    Some may always think an introverted person is snobbish or anything else. Primarily, it is about whether one does good and says good, though, whether you get slandered. And if you do good and say good, unfortunately... get used to getting slandered. That is, wrongly judged.

    It just comes with the territory, whether you are introverted or extroverted.

    The real problem is herd mindsets people get into. Maybe you have noticed this. I use the term "herd", obviously, in a derogatory sense. We should be free from social constraints, able to be parts of groups, but not having those groups define us... as it did with the Pharisees. Jesus had much to say about the danger of such groups and exposed the mindset.

    There are two primary problems with groupthink in that context and herd like behavior... one is the issue of self-righteous and praise from me... the other is the 'us vs them' attitude, where one group learns to hate different groups. 'Hate thine enemy' in practice, as opposed to 'love your enemies'. That mindset is prevalent in most groups, I hate to say. They may not use the words "enemy" and "hate", but it is the same thing.

    Such groups spend a lot of time slandering and generally hating those outside their group. They also have consensual delusions supported by these pillars of their group mindset.

    A good group is one where people accept you for who you are, people work together, and they do not have systems of praise and chores to earn elevation in the group.

    As Christians, I truly believe we are called to stand outside all such trappings, though we should make strains to not be misunderstood... very, very often this is simply impossible.
     
    simonpeter likes this.
  7. heron

    heron Legend

    Messages:
    18,553
    Likes Received:
    202
    Marital Status:
    In Relationship
    Faith:
    Christian
    You will probably find over time that to keep your introverted lifestyle, you will need to feed the lions once in a while. Keep the strategy in your own hands. Find select bits of information about yourself that you will release once in a while, like accomplishments related to work. Ask to go to a conference and keep fairly quiet about it. Give out birthday cards or emails but don't feel obligated to hang out in the hall.

    If you are completely yourself in seclusion, then you will get frustrated that others talk their superiors into promotions. Admit that there will be a few areas you will need to stretch yourself, and then hold tight to the rest.

    Be the person who initiates coffee out, but set a time limit. Make sure you don't stay so long that you will give out more information than you are comfortable with. Be the one in control.

    Hold your cards carefully.
     
    simonpeter likes this.
  8. pathseeker

    pathseeker seeker

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    You may be at a stage in your life where you feel comfortable being introverted. That's OK, we all feel or have felt that way at some point in our lives. That's not to say you can't change and become more outgoing. What may help you break out of this would be to work on a projecting a true positive attitude. People seek out positive people with positive attitudes and shy away from negative individuals.

    Once you master a positive attitude the next thing to learn is assertiveness. It takes some time to master these two things but once you have learned them there is no telling what you can accomplish.
     
  9. heron

    heron Legend

    Messages:
    18,553
    Likes Received:
    202
    Marital Status:
    In Relationship
    Faith:
    Christian
    It helps me to focus on God with me -- praying about where He wants to use me puts me in a more proactive position. Then I am not a victim to what others want to say, because God and I are in charge of who I talk with, and how long.

    Practice the art of working a room -- gracefully leaving conversations, and it will free you from the obligation to stay and listen to their criticisms.

    Be in charge for those short spurts, and then go home to take a nap. (-; Show that you are in a different realm, where you can rise above the bar they're setting. Find out what strangers need, and you may meet much nicer people. Care for others, and you will gradually find that you have trained others to care.
     
  10. I can relate in some ways. I don't mind small groups (1-2 people, max) but I kind of get lost when I'm speaking with a whole heap of people (a throwback to my High School days - I was the type of guy who sat in the library reading a book instead of going out and playing basketball). Back when I was at uni, I was on the shuttle-bus with a friend, chatting and laughing away. He then asks me, "Wow, I never knew you were this chatty - why aren't you like that when we're in the Student Common Room". I honestly had no answer. I just don't deal with crowds well. When there's more than half a dozen people in a conversation, I tend to just sit back and let others speak.

    At a recent party I went to, I was speaking to a very good friend I hadn't seen in a long time, sharing about how work was going. There were about twelve of us in the room, but there were about twenty different conversations going on, so I was just as chatty one-on-one. Then I mentioned that the police dropped by the school I taught at to pick up one of the students. I guess that got people's attention, because I suddenly heard silence from all the other conversations, and suddenly my one-on-one chat seemed to be something I was saying to the whole room. Needless to say, I bombed out a little.

    It's just part of being human. Some of us are extroverts, some are introverts. Both have their ups and downs. Imagine how the extrovert feels as they are going to work, sitting alone in their car, or listening to their iPod on the train? This is the introvert's playground, and we can amuse ourselves with daydreams, or books, or any kind of personal reflection while the extrovert sits there thinking, "geez, I just want this to be over".

    Just a few thoughts :)

    ~ PA
     
  11. jpcedotal

    jpcedotal Old School from the Backwoods - Christian Style

    Messages:
    4,248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Constitution
    Faith:
    Christian
    Good topic guys and gals....I am an introvert, but I view it like being a spider-sharklike person, a Christian one of course, but still a spider-shark.

    Taking me for granted or interpreting my shy-silence for ignorance is exactly what I want.

    As rule in order for me to fit in or get along or show initiative or LEAD others, I found out by making eye contact EVERY SINGLE TIME I talk to somebody is the key. Don't let your eyes give away your comfort level, especially in crowds of unknown folks.

    Never look down or away
     
  12. janny108

    janny108 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,438
    Likes Received:
    57
    Gender:
    Female
    Marital Status:
    In Relationship
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Word-of-Faith
    I totally can understand! I have a few books on being an introvert that shows how this is so misunderstood. It' s not that we don't like people, we just can't spend gobs of time in situations that can overwhelm us. I have to push myself out to do what I know is the right thing like greeter at church, but am "good" for 2-3 hrs at a time.
    I got a book for Christmas called Introverts in the church, finding our way in an extroverted culture, by Adam S. McHugh

    Also the Introverted Advantage how to thrive in an extroverted world, by Marti Olsen Laney.
     
    Apollo Celestio likes this.
  13. jellybean99

    jellybean99 Make me an instrument of Peace and Safety

    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    As someone who is educated in psychology, I would like to clarify what introversion and extroversion is. It's not what most people think it is.

    Extroverts "recharge their batteries" when they are in the company of friends and family and tend to run low on energy when they are alone or isolated.

    Introverts, on the other hand, "recharge their batteries" with activities like reading, solitary prayer, etc. and are exhausted after social outings and group activities.

    Recall that while Jesus "recharged his batteries" by seeking solitude and praying to his Father, most of his recorded life was spent teaching, preaching and healing. In other words, Jesus recharged so that he could accomplish His ministry.

    No one should use the label of "introvert" to hide from the world, nor should self-described "extroverts" avoid solitary prayer and Scripture reading. Our "batteries" are recharged so that regardless of our psychological orientation, we can lead holy, productive lives.

    Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
    bsd31 likes this.
  14. wonderwaleye

    wonderwaleye New Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,034
    Likes Received:
    44
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian

    Have you ever gave any thought to the lives of the prophets?

    steven
     
  15. bsd31

    bsd31 Newbie

    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Christian
    VERY well said. It made me stop and do a double take because I'm normally an introvert and I've learned to use that as an excuse not to do what I know I should do. Thanks.
     
  16. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    Messages:
    13,536
    Likes Received:
    191
    Marital Status:
    Widow/Widower
    Faith:
    Christian
    Nothing wrong with being introverted. But you still need to have developed good social skills. Some introverted people don't do that, and wonder why they are lonely, or things just pass them by. You can also be introverted and self confident. There are issues where self confidence is not good though, and that needs to be addressed.

    John
    NZ
     
  17. tsuanthony

    tsuanthony Junior Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    im an introvert as well
    and that is a huge roadblock when I attend my youth group every friday night..

    How am I supposed to have a fellowship with my peers, if I don't want to have anything to do with groups??
     
  18. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    Messages:
    13,536
    Likes Received:
    191
    Marital Status:
    Widow/Widower
    Faith:
    Christian
    You must set out to develop some people skills. Your personality cannot be changed from introvert to extrovert, but you can acquire abilities to communicate and interact with others more confidently. I had to do that many years ago. White knuckle stuff at times but now I can relate well to people, yet I am still more of an introvert than anything else.

    John
    NZ
     
  19. tsuanthony

    tsuanthony Junior Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    sometimes I wonder if I really want to merge with my peers...
    all im doing is throwing myself into mischeif, gossip, and teenage life drama
    who wants that?
     
  20. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    Messages:
    13,536
    Likes Received:
    191
    Marital Status:
    Widow/Widower
    Faith:
    Christian
    Not really enjoying lots of petty stuff is fine. But that is different from being introverted.

    Also, we sometimes need to put up with a lot of pretty mundane stuff as part of building relationships out of which we can share our faith. People, even those who aren't that interesting, are still precious to God.

    John
    NZ
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
Loading...